Karcher K5 vs K7: In-Depth Pressure Washer Comparison


The K5 and K7 are Karcher’s premium pressure washers designed to offer maximum performance, but is the K7 worth the extra money?

In this article I’ll be directly comparing the performance capabilities and key features of these two Karcher pressure washers so you can decide if you should go for a K5 or a K7.

Karcher K5 vs K7 Summary

Karcher K5 pressure washers have a maximum flow rate of 500 L/ hour and 145 bar pressure, whereas Karcher K7 models have a maximum flow rate of 550 L/ hour and 180 bar pressure. The K7 also has a higher maximum water feed temperature and is more expensive and larger than the K5.

FeatureKarcher K5Karcher K7
Max Pressure145 bar180 bar
Max Flow Rate500 L/ hour550 L/ hour
Max Water Feed Temperature40°C60°C
Power Rating2100W2800W
Hose Length8 meters on Compact version, 10 meters on Control versions10 meters on all versions
Key differences between the Karcher K5 and K7 pressure washers

Images link to Amazon

Karcher K5 Premium Smart Control

Karcher K7 Premium Smart Control

Karcher K5 Compact

Karcher K7 Compact

Performance (Pressure and Flow Rate)

The performance of a pressure washer is dictated by the maximum pressure capability and flow rate of the machine. The K7 is a more expensive, and hence more powerful pressure washer compared to the K5.

The K7 has a maximum flow rate of 550 L/ hour compared to the K5 which has a maximum flow rate of 500 L/hour. Hence the K7 has a 10% higher flow rate.

The K7 also has a maximum pressure rating of 180 bar whereas the K5 has a max pressure rating of 145 bar. This makes the K7 24% more powerful compared to the K5.

Both these machines are highly capable of dealing with cars, patios, outdoor furniture and fences and you’ll struggle to find a job that the K5 struggles with.

If you’re cleaning a car and using a snow foam cannon then you’ll find that the K7 allows it to produce thicker foam. However, you can still get very thick foam from the K5.

Size Comparison

There are different versions of the K5 and K7 to consider here.

The K5 has 3 variants: Compact, Power Control and Premium Smart Control. The compact model is of course a lot smaller, but the Power Control and Premium Smart Control models are similar sizes to each other.

The K7 has 2 variants: Compact and Premium Smart Control.

All versions of the K7 are heavier than the K5 models, however the K7 Compact is smaller than the K5 Power Control and Premium Smart Control.

Here is a table comparing the dimensions of each pressure washer.

Metric Units

Karcher ModelLengthWidthHeightWeight
K5 Compact35.4 cm30.8 cm52.0 cm12.0 kg
K5 Power Control40.2 cm30.6 cm58.8 cm13.0 kg
K5 Premium Smart Control41.4 cm30.6 cm58.8 cm13.9 kg
K7 Compact37.8 cm29.1 cm51.6 cm15.8 kg
K7 Premium Smart Control45.9 cm33.0 cm66.6 cm17.8 kg
Karcher K5 vs K7 size (metric units)

Imperial Units

Karcher ModelLengthWidthHeightWeight
K5 Compact13.9″ 12.1″20.5″ 26.5 lbs
K5 Power Control15.8”12.0”23.1”28.7 lbs
K5 Premium Smart Control 16.3″12.0″ 23.1″30.6 lbs 
K7 Compact14.9”11.5”20.3”34.8 lbs
K7 Premium Smart Control18.1”13.0”26.2”39.2 lbs
Karcher K5 vs K7 size (imperial units)

Other Key Differences

  • The K5 Compact has an 8 meter hose. All other versions of the K5 and all versions of the K7 have 10 meter hoses.
  • K5 models have a maximum water feed temperature of 40°C whereas K7 models have a maximum water feed temperature of 60°C.
  • K5 models have a power rating of 2.1 kW whereas K7 models have a power rating of 2.8 kW so will use more electricity.

Compact vs Power Control vs Premium Smart Control

As I mentioned previously, there are different versions of the K5 and K7.

  • K5 models: Compact, Power Control and Premium Smart Control
  • K7 models: Compact and Premium Smart Control

All versions of the same model number (e.g. K5) have the same flow rate, pressure rating, motor-cooling mechanism, power rating and maximum water feed temperature.

Aside from the size differences, the differences between the “Compact” and “Control” models are the trigger designs, hose lengths (only on K5 models) and detergent application method.

The difference between the “Power Control” and “Premium Smart Control” versions are:

  • The Power Control models come with 2 nozzles (dirt blaster and vario) whereas the Premium Smart Control models have a single multi-jet nozzle with different settings.
  • The Premium Smart Control models have an integrated hose reel, unlike the Power Control models.
  • The Premium Smart Control versions connect via BlueTooth to an app to assist you with choosing the right setting.

Here are two tables to summarise the differences between each version.

K5 Model Variants

FeatureK5 CompactK5 Power ControlK5 Premium Smart Control Home
Hose Length8 meters10 meters10 meters
Weight (without accessories)12.0 kg 13.0 kg13.9 kg
Dimensions (L x W x H)40.2 x 30.6 x 58.8 cm40.2 x 30.6 x 58.8 cm41.4 x 30.6 x 58.8 cm
Detergent ApplicationSuctionPlug and CleanPlug and Clean
LED Display on TriggerNoYesYes
BlueTooth ConnectionNoNoYes
Integrated Hose ReelNoNoYes
Accessories IncludedVario Lance
Dirt Blaster
Vario Lance
Dirt Blaster
Multi-Jet Lance
Patio Cleaner
K5 Compact vs K5 Power Control vs K5 Premium Smart Control

K7 Model Variants

FeatureK7 CompactK7 Premium Smart Control Home
Weight (without accessories)15.8 kg17.8 kg
Dimensions (L x W x H)37.8 x 29.1 x 51.6 cm45.9 x 33.0 x 66.6 cm
Detergent ApplicationSuctionPlug and Clean
LED Display on TriggerNoYes
Integrated Hose ReelNoYes
BlueTooth ConnectionNoYes
Accessories IncludedVario Lance Dirt BlasterMulti-Jet Lance Patio Cleaner

Which Pressure Washer is Best?

In my opinion, the Karcher K5 Compact is the pressure washer which offers the best value for money. It offers excellent performance and is very unlikely to be challenged when it is used in the garden or for cleaning cars.

With the K5 Compact you aren’t overpaying for the extra pressure (which in the vast majority of cases is not necessary) or accessories/ features (such as the app connectivity) which I don’t think are worth the additional cost.

The only drawback of the K5 Compact is that the 8 meter hose is a bit short for some situations. However, there are many better quality aftermarket hoses which are much cheaper than the price difference between the K5 Compact and Power Control should you feel the need to upgrade it.

Check out the Karcher K5 Compact on Amazon for the current price.

Karcher K5 Compact

Full Specification List

FeatureK5 CompactK5 Power ControlK5 Premium Smart Control HomeK7 CompactK7 Premium Smart Control Home
Current Type230-240 V230-240 V230-240 V230 V230-240 V
Minimum Pressure20 bar20 bar20 bar20 bar20 bar
Maximum Pressure145 bar145 bar145 bar180 bar180 bar
Max Flow Rate500 L/ hour500 L/ hour500 L/ hour550 L/ hour550 L/ hour
Area Performance40 m2/ hour40 m2/ hour40 m2/ hour60 m2/ hour60 m2/ hour
Water Feed Max Temp40°C40°C40°C60°C60°C
Power Rating2100W2100W2100W2800W2800W
Power Cable Length5 meters5 meters5 meters5 meters5 meters
Hose Length8 meters10 meters10 meters10 meters10 meters
Weight (without accessories)13 kg 13.0 kg13.9 kg15.8 kg17.8 kg
Dimensions (L x W x H)35.4 x 30.8 x 52.0 cm40.2 x 30.6 x 58.8 cm41.4 x 30.6 x 58.8 cm37.8 x 29.1 x 51.6 cm45.9 x 33.0 x 66.6 cm
MotorWater-CooledWater-CooledWater-CooledWater-CooledWater-Cooled
Detergent ApplicationSuctionPlug and CleanPlug and CleanSuctionPlug and Clean
LED Display on TriggerNoYesYesNoYes
Telescopic HandleYesYesYesYesYes
Quick Connect on MachineYesYesYesYesYes
Integrated Hose ReelNoNoYesNoYes
BlueTooth ConnectionNoNoYesNoYes
Accessories IncludedVario Lance Dirt BlasterVario Lance Dirt BlasterMulti-Jet Lance Patio CleanerVario Lance Dirt BlasterMulti-Jet Lance Patio Cleaner
Karcher K5 vs K7 pressure washers

Still unsure which Karcher model you should go for? Check out my complete guide to the Karcher Pressure Washer range to learn more.

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Heather

I first became interested in car detailing around 3 years ago and learnt all the main techniques on my very first car. I spend a lot of time detailing my current car, and trying to keep my family's cars looking presentable too!

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